We’re only four games into the U21s season, and Abu Kamara’s goal-scoring form is scintillating. He is joint top of the goalscoring charts in the league this season, demonstrating his continued composure in front of goal.
Topping the goalscoring chart is doubly impressive as Abu hasn’t started in the striker role this season, compared to his fellow competitors.
He has played in numerous positions in his short career so far and, similarly to Tony Springett and Jon Rowe, he can cover a range of positions. This season, Abu has been deployed as an inverted right winger.
Abu Kamara’s position map – Credit: tacticalboard.com.
The diagram shows Kamara’s familiar positions and unfamiliar positions. Striker, central attacking midfield, and right-wing are the positions he has played the most, while left wing-back and left wing are the positions he’s played on a few occasions.
Ironically, the most important game that Kamara has played, has been at left-wingback in a pre-season game against Hibernian. Although it was a friendly, this was the first opportunity that Kamara had to impress Smith at first-team level.
Having watched Kamara live in Scotland, he attempted to maximise his strengths. One of which is his left foot. He tried to create openings, by whipping in crosses and overcoming one-on-one battles.
However, he is much more dangerous in the advanced areas of the pitch. He’s been utilised in those specific areas the last three seasons, at U18s and U21s level. For example, Kamara was utiliised as a central attacking midfielder and a striker for large proportions of last season.
His impact in those positions was huge, as he was the PL2 Div 2 (U21s league) top goalscorer last season. From the start of the 2021-22 season, he’s accumulated 20 goals in 31 league games.
The club are well aware of Kamara’s potential and talent, as he has a contract keeping him at Carrow Road until the summer of 2025. They have put tremendous faith in him and that faith is being repaid.
One reason for his outstanding goal tally is that he has a good understanding with his teammates.
Like several of his teammates, Kamara has worked his way up the age groups, meaning he’s spent a lot of time with the same group of people. These sustained relationships enhance his performances on the pitch.
His relationships with his teammates are evident, as he’s a player who is prolific in the six-yard box. A player who is successful at scoring goals in the six-yard box, often relies on teammates to provide service, and that’s exactly what they’ve done for him in the past seasons.
Here’s an example, against Leeds.
Tony Springett provides for Abu Kamara, at the back post. Credit: Leeds YouTube.
This example, against Leeds, perfectly demonstrates Kamara’s predatory instincts. Springett plays an inviting square ball, and Kamara gets on the inside of his marker to equalise.
These types of goals are common for the U21s, due to the fact they have an understanding of Kamara’s movement.
Not only does the attack share chemistry with Kamara, but his movement is impeccable.
His second goal away at Leeds demonstrated this perfectly.
Phase 1: Kamara is in a natural position, keeping his width on the right flank.
Phase 2: Kamara makes a last-ditch run into the box. Abu has plenty of space, and no one picks him up.
Phase 3: Abu Kamara gets given the ball by Tony Springett, on the right-hand side of the box. He uses the defender to curl it past him, to make it 2-2.
This goal demonstrated Kamara’s instinctive and greedy nature to get into position to score a goal. The movement is clever too, as he’s arriving late into the box, which is hard for defenders to track.
Kamara has also got a phenomenal record from the spot, as approximately a third of his goals last season came from penalties. This demonstrates Kamara’s composed nature in front of goal – one of his biggest strengths.
Another crucial element to his game is his sharpness – a particularly impressive trait because he plays in a range of positions.
Most players have preferred positions on the pitch, however, he seems to execute a high and lively performance, wherever he plays.
Kamara’s goal record in the U21s league is outstanding, especially as he hasn’t been a recognised striker for some of those matches. He scored in four consecutive PL2 Div 2 games, showing his consistency.
Consistency is a big word in the academy – a term that’s used frequently, whether applied to performance level or conduct.
As the summer transfer window has now concluded, the potential possibility for Abu to head out on loan for the whole season is no longer a reality, so he can focus on delivering good performances until January at least.
Kamara’s form will not be ignored by Dean Smith and the loan department. He has had limited involvement in first-team matchday squads, but has trained with them on many occasions.
Similarly to Tom Dickson-Peters last season, I wouldn’t rule out a January loan move for Kamara, as his goal-scoring figures in development football will not have gone unnoticed.
It’s imperative that if he was to go on loan, they find the correct club for him, otherwise it may hinder rather than enhance his development. We’ve already seen this with Flynn’s Clarke loan to Walsall.
Kamara picked a PL2 POTM nomination for August 2022 after his five goals and one assist but didn’t win the award as Sonny Perkins was the preferred choice by the elected panel.
But Abu Kamara’s stock is rising and in him, Norwich have a gem.
Andrew Delf says
Hi Will another good informative piece regarding the academy and Kamara sounds like a great prospect for the future. Do you know if this age group utilise the soccer bot as part of their education. Another question, is there plans to develop players to roles not just for our future players but to exploit the market requirements for players in certain positions ie ball playing central defenders?.
Thank you for the support again mate.
Q1 – Yes, I’ve spoken to some of the academy players and they do use the Soccerbot.
Q2- There is an element of the academy buying certain players to play specific roles, however the club thinks holistically on young players. For example, the club bought Flynn Clarke in the summer of 2021, and he’s a very unique player, compared to those we have at the academy now. However, the club mainly bought him as they thought he was a player with a high ceiling, and he’d suit the way that Norwich likes to play.
Thanks again Will, I saw Abu play a few times last season, and being honest I wasn’t impressed, continually got caught offside and looked a tad lazy. Haven’t seen this season games yet, but by your account of him the improvement is quite something. Could it be due to playing a little deeper abling him to see the front movement better and arriving a little later into the box ?
I look forward to them playing at CarrowRroad easier for me to get to.
Thanks again for a very good write
Thanks Canary Lad.
I’d say since the new year, he’s really gone to new levels. There was a period last season when he was deployed at CAM, and it didn’t really show the best of him. He scores important goals, and his confidence keeps on growing.
A very interesting read.
I’m looking forward to the upcoming u21 fixtures at carrow Road. Im eager to see what’s behind the remarkable upturn in results since the disastrous pre season which didn’t bode well.
I’ve enjoyed watching the attacking triumvirate of dickson-peters, Rowe and kamara backed by gibbs and Clarke previously and I can recommend dropping in for free to have a look at the next wave.
These loans don’t appear to have much purpose, other than to provide cover and help fill the bench of hard up lower league outfits whose managers have little idea how to use the players effectively. Witness the plight of Clarke omotoye and dickson Peters all of whom have had their progression stunted. I’d sooner see them here getting game time and proper coaching.
On a lighter note, I see the youth team won at Chelsea yesterday to continue the good starts made by both academy sides. That’s some result.
Tim Ball says
Great piece Will.
It is brilliant to hear about all these youngsters coming through.
Like canarylad it would help if they played at Carrow Road for me as well. As i’ve said before those old Friday nights under the lights were a great time to go and watch the reserves and see what young lads were coming through.
By looks of their fixture list, have missed a couple at Carrow Rd, the next one is in April , a few at The Walks and that is it.